1911 Pistol in 10mm Auto Caliber, Sounds Good But…


10mm Round
10mm Round

Ft Collins, CO –-(Ammoland.com)- 10mm Auto.

Last weekend, during a DTI Defensive Pistol Course on the East Coast, a student brought a 1911 pistol in 10mm Auto caliber.

10mm Auto had a brief following when it was first introduced in 1983. But, it never gained significant popularity, and there has been scant demand for the ammunition for at least the past thirty years.

Recently, it has garnered some popularity among handgun hunters. But, as a serious carry pistol, the 10mm has few adherents.

One of them was my student last weekend, but his enthusiasm for the caliber quickly withered as his $1,500.00 pistol failed to cycle time and again! Most common problem was failure to feed.

We cleaned and lubed it, but feeding issued continued.

In our, and his, frustration, we eventually put this student into a GLOCK G19, which of course, ran fine for the duration.

Glock G19 Gen4 Pistol (original image by Aaron Ragusa )
Glock G19 Gen4 Pistol (original image by Aaron Ragusa )

We’ve seen a few other pistols in this caliber at our Courses, but not many, and I’ve never seen one that ran reliably. The 10mm Auto is a long, straight-walled cartridge. It is essentially “designed to fail!”

Pistols chamberd for it usually have tight chambers (for accuracy, you know), which exacerbates the reliability issue.

As a hunting handgun, the 10mm Auto may have a place, so long as you’re not hunting anything dangerous! As a pistol carried for serious purposes, it has few followers, as noted above.

One fewer after last weekend!


Defense Training International, Inc

Read Related AmmoLand’s in-depth review P220 review here: SIG P220 Legion 10mm Optics-Ready Handgun Review & Range Report.

About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or in-actions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr. Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit: www.defense-training.com

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Jack A Furbush

Mastering the 10mm is like mastering the .357 magnum in the K and J frame S&W revolver. It takes some work. The extra power is worth the world if you feel you need it


Another know it all, that doesn’t know it all. The 10mm is great cartridge and it can be loaded mild to to hot for defense or hunting. In the Glock 20 & 29 platform with simple swaping of barrels you csn have a 40,357 Sig, and a 10mm in one handgun. A friend of mine was very fond of his Colt Delta Elite and wouldn’t sell or trade it for anything. So , I can only conclude that author in this case has misdiagnosed the perceived problem. As one commenter stated in their response, limp wristing could be the culprit.

Jack A Furbush

I have that set up with my Sig 10mm and my Glock 20 as well. I’ve had 2 of the S&W 1006 pistols sense they came out. The Holey Grayle of 10mm pistols would be to get an original Denoris & Dickson Bren 10 with the .45 conversation. I’ve never had a problem with any of my pistols. I just got an S.S. Delta Elite made in 1996. It works just fine too. The BULLSHIT remarks about a cartridge designed to fail makes about as much sence as he does. How can anyone that understands anything about buisness and economic… Read more »

Jerry S.

A lot of 1911 malfunctions can be laid at the feet of limp-wristed shooters…..just sayin.


John, It seems you are stating your case on the operation of only a few pistols. I’ve been smithing for over 40 years and have build a bunch of 1911’s in 10muther-muther. I have never had an issue in making them run as reliable as any other 1911 in any other caliber. I agree it is not the best defensive caliber in full house loads but that is a subjective matter and reliability certainly isn’t the reason for my comments. I also worked for S&W for a number of years and have 2 1006’s that have hundreds of rounds down… Read more »


Doesn’t like them cause the recoil hurts his limp wrist…..


You can’t limp wrist a 10mm and expect it to function. Compact 45 autos will do the same thing.


I consider the uneven performance of the cartridge in some weapons as more of an industry inexperience issue than anything inherent with the cartridge itself. More practice in designing weapons for the cartridge would solve the issue, in my opinion. It can’t be treated as ‘just another round,’ it’s beefy enough that you can’t use the standard approach. I’ve seen similar issues in ‘up-gunning’ pistols designed for .380 to 9mm. ‘Should work’ often doesn’t.

Todd Jaffe

I have 5 10mm guns. 4 are 1911 models, 1 is a Glock. All feed perfectly. Someone has a bias!

Raymond Kevin Williams

Because your 5 guns work fine someone has a bias? I’ll bet I could find 5 Ford p into that don’t explode after a year end collision but that does not mean the car doesn’t have a serious design flaw. Or that all the explosion reports were biased!

Jack A Furbush

Geee. I guess I need to tell the 8 10mm pistols I own to quit working. 3 of them are 1911 guns. Two Colt Delta Elites and one is a pistol I built myself. The 1911 can be built to work with any round that feeds through the magazine if you know what you’re doing. That’s why the 1911 has been around for 107 years and still going. It’s such a simple design almost any idiot can use it. Being a recoil operated weapon it requires a firm grip to function. Most people can figure that out after some training… Read more »


I have a Dan Wesson Bruin in 10mm and a Grand Power P40 in 10mm. I have has no issues with either gun. Obviously the DW is a high quality 1911 ans has a fully supported feed ramp.

I do think the 10mm is a fantastic round with can be loaded ro 40 S&W levels or loaded to stop 4 legged animals. To each their own. I love shooting my guns that are in 45 ACP but 10mm is a blast too!


My Delta Elite runs just fine, between myself and family we’ve put at least a couple thousand rounds through it. I would have left the class rather than use the Glock


I love it!! Seriouly! The ugly plastic guns just don’t have the soul that a finely crafted Delta Elite possesses! I’m with you Avenger, I would’ve left too or borrowed a revolver before I went plastic! BTW, I’ve seen Glocks jam at IDPA matches and it’s always “.. it must be the ammo..” LOL. Meanwhile my 1998 Colt Commander with a worn blue finish just keeps on knocking down the steel.


I’ve never had a single issue any of the 10mm firearms I have owned. I’ve had numerous issues with 9mm though. DUH …


I have a Sig P220 Elite in 10 mm with a 5 inch barrel, and I have not experienced one problem with any type of ammo I have used. Yes a full power 10 is a bit peppier than a 45 or a 9. I also have a Dan Wesson 1911 in 10 mm, which has had FTF and FTE issues. It is not that 10 mm ammo is not right, it is that Sig got it right for a 10 millimeter pistol.

Jack A Furbush

One of the best features of the Glock is it like a revolver needs no manual safet. This makes it perfect for an EDC weapon along with a holster that needs no manual retention device. Being that almost always you’re going to behind the power curve when you are attacked you need to be able to draw and shoot in one motion. Try to get yourself to 1.5 seconds with what you use. Glock pistols are like a toothbrush they always work. I’ve only seen one person that couldn’t make one work


It’s a distraction from the merits of 10mm, and they are many, but as a general rule if you can’t see an attack coming then you’ve already lost. No matter what your draw is, if you lack the situational awareness and common sense to navigate the world then drawing like it’s fictional 1810 won’t save you. And if you can see one coming then you’ve got time to chamber a round or turn a safety off. There’s arguments that you’ll forget to but the people making those arguments have never been in a fight of any kind in their life… Read more »

Jack A Furbush

You are full of more shit than a Christmas Goose. I’ve seen hundreds of people injured and killed in violent attacks in my 33 years as a cop. 7.5 LAPD 5.8 NYPD the rest in my home town and a couple of surrounding towns. 10 years in the Marine Corps and 16 as a Private High Risk High Pay Military Contractor as tought me a thing or two about such things. I’ve only had one man actually call me out as done in westurn movies as you seem to think such encounters happen. That incedent was resolved without a weapon… Read more »

Jack A Furbush

Why the fuck would you ever carry a PDW with an empty chamber? As I said you obviously have no real world experience in actual self defense. I doubt you’ve ever been in more than a school yard fight. If you’re attacked by a puke with a knife unless he cuts you’re juggler you’re not going to be stopped unless you just give up. When you’re shooting for blood YOU NEVER GIVE UP. It’s you’re life you’re trying to defend. You had better be able to get you’re weapon out and get as many shots off as it takes to… Read more »

Jack A Furbush

Do you kiss his ring when you’re in his presence?


At a class in PPOTH the instructor wanted my to use a Glock since the safety on my Steyr is difficult to operate so I don’t use it (which is just like using a Glock). The Glock wouldn’t make it through 1 mag for me without a malfunction. It worked fine for its owner. I’ll stay with the S9, thanks.

Ken Pruitt

I have never had a failure to feed in my Witnrss Match Elite…hand loads or factory…..heavy springs help…the gun has to be set up right for the ammo you are using.


I put off buying a 10mm handgun for many years, but three years ago I finally purchased a Glock 20. It has run six different loads by various manufacturers (Federal, Winchester, Speer, and Doubletap). I had zero issues with any of the loads, even Doubletap, whose rounds were of pretty poor quality (bullets missing lubricant, shaved lead, speeds significantly less than advertised, etc.). I have also run three different handloads using hardcast WFNGC bullets at “+P” speeds (slightly higher velocities than maximum loads listed) to carry when I go into bear country (which starts about 1/2 mile east of my… Read more »

Jack A Furbush

Be careful shooting lead out of a factory Glock barrel. The lead will build up and blow your pistol up. The Glock doesn’t use lands and groves. It uses a twist like the H&K G3. Get a replacement barrel for lead bullets. That’s one of the great things about the Glock20 it eats anything.


Jack, Perhaps that is true in some calibers, but I have over 24,000 rounds through my Gen2 G21, and around 8,000 of those were handloads with lead bullets. I have _never_ had an issue with them, and most of the loads were just under max for the .45 ACP. Round nose, semi-wadcutters, flat nose – they all worked. The original Glock barrel worked just fine. I have shot several thousand lead bullets through my G23, and almost as many through my G20. AFAIK, the only issues with “kabooms” is the tendency of the .40 cal round to experience excessively high… Read more »

Jack A Furbush

Yikes… Be careful especially with the .40 S&W and lead in the factory barrel. I’ve personally seen two of them blow using lead bullets. Both shooters cleaned their guns regularly so I don’t think cleaning was the issue. The Glock barrel doesn’t fully support the case head so if an over pressure do to a restricted bore occurred they let go. Both blow the dust cover and magazines out and buldged the barrel. Fortunately neither shooter got hurt. The Glock .40 are the only guns that have let go with hand loads that I know about. IPSC shooters had this… Read more »

Richard Harrington

Carried a S&W 1006, 10mm, as an FBI agent. ( I believe it had come from the factory performance center). Never had any issue whatever. Very accurate during qualification shoots which inspired confidence.

Jay Baer

i have a SW 1006 which worked fine when I parked it in the safe, several friends had SW 10mm’s also, none of them ever had a function problem. As a reloader, I always followed the recipe in the books. I also have used Glock 20 and 29’s, but never got around to shooting either. i’m looking for a 10mm 1911, and would love to know the brands that fail or work well.

James Higginbotham

what i do with any model 1911 i buy is first throat the chamber then polish it, then polish the feed ramp.
maybe they should of had this done and maybe the pistol would have cycled right.

Jack A Furbush

That is one of the many great things about the 1911 pistol. It’s like a lego set. You can build it any way you want. If you can use some basic hand tools you can set it up any way you want it and work with any load you need it to work with. This fairy tale about carrying a custom weapon as a PDW is a creation of gun magazine writer’s. In 33 years in lawenforcement 7 of them LAPD. I never once saw the choice of weapons or ammunition a factor in wether a shooting case went to… Read more »

Jack A Furbush

The 10mm pistols and ammo are still very popular, that’s why there still in production. I followed Farnams articles back around 20 years ago. I’m not the only one that thinks he full of shit. Relax chicken little. Just because we gun people call him out on his bullshit doesn’t mean the sky is falling

Jack A Furbush

What are you blathering about? Just because we 10mm shooters call him out on his bullshit remarks on something he seems to know next to nothing about you think the sky is falling chicken little. I’ve read his magazine articles over the past 20+ years. I’m not the only one who thinks he’s full of shit. Take a pill, sit down and take a breath


Is this some bizarre Kafka esque Twilight Zone nightmare, … or is this really happening? Is it possible that NRA and SAF and GOA and CCRKBA and JPFO members and fellow Republicans and gun rights advocates could degenerate into vicious squabbling savages? If we cannot agree on anything, … if we must disagree on everything, … can we at least not become disagreeable? To see my revered friend John Farnam’s remarks taken totally out of context, his character disparaged, his expertise impugned, and his bloodied crucified carcass covered with heaping piles of ad hominem attacks; has driven me to question… Read more »

Jack A Furbush

If you publish articles full of statements that just ain’t so you’re going to get called out on You’re BULLSHIT. That’s what can happen when you put yourself out there. It doesn’t mean the downfall of western civilization. Get over yourself


Mr Farnam is a well-respected warrior teacher and gentleman . Notice, all you keyboard commandos, the example given was a1911 in 10 mm. IMHO , God’s Own Right Fist was designed for the .45ACP. One blasphemes when trying to “improve ” that perfect combination. He is also correct – while YOU may love your 10mm, more shooters don’ t than do!

Lighten up, Francis!

Jack A Furbush

Do you kiss his ring when you’re in his presence?

Joe Benedetto

My Ruge r SR1911 10mm has around 2000 rounds through it with ZERO trouble.


Small sample sizes are statistically meaningless; 10MM in the form of 1076, DE, G20 and G29 have been my EDC since 1991. I stopped logging rounds downrange at 10K, never a FTF (although a few, as in single digits FTE in the DE). Does this mean that the 10MM is a great round? For me it is, but my sample is only marginally more valid than that of the author.
Find what works for you. Stick with it. Drill like your life depends upon it. End of story.


Obviously, base on all the comments, we all have way too damn much time on our hands. I prefer the 120mm smooth bore sabot tank round, but the damn thing is too big for a holster.

Jack A Furbush

The fact that we shooters take a couple of minutes to offer some comments on this page and to have some turd like you stick a dumd ass remark like that shows you don’t know shit about guns or ammunition and how to use them


Article is a lot light on facts other than the gun had FTFs, which weren’t remedied by cleaning and lubing. So from that the assertion is made that the 10 mm isn’t a good self defense round in a 1911. A lot more elaboration is needed.

Wyatt Milligan

10mm has been making a big comeback for better than 10 years and has many great loadings for different purposes. I have 3 10mm pistols that I trust with my life and can shoot in defensive situations as well as any of my .45ACP, .38 Super, or 9mm. My daily carry is a Grand Power P40 10mm that has over 1500 flawless rounds through it. A gun is generally only as good or bad as its operator.

Scotty Gunn

I have several 10mm s in the 1911 configuration. Extremely reliable and accurate as all get out. Doesn’t the Glock only guy know they also make a reliable 10mm? I have several of them,too. I have owned 1911’s in ten since it was introduced. Amazing caliber for the knowledgeable.

Timothy Votaw

Weighing in. Marine combat vet (2 Purps behind it, jus’ sayin’.) Got an early Colt Delta Elite, with good 180 gr. ammo, no FTF’s over a lot of practice. Good enough so I added a G20 to the stable, and still no problems. I worked in the woods solo as a fed agency HazMat investigator (y’know – rolling meth labs, haz waste dumping, with bad guys around. Not official issue and I didn’t publicize it, but I carried a G20 out there, wanted the margin. I’ll keep ’em, both. YMMV, obviously.

Mitch Price

I agree totally I’ve got a G 20 and haven’t had a bit of trouble. I carry it all the time.

John Dale Langford

I have a Rock Island 10mm 1911. When it was new the only problem I had was the magazine would drop out. I sent it back to Armscor they fixed it and I have had no problems with it at all. I guess the pistol forgot “the designed to fail” memo.


Those of us who have known John Farnham for decades know that he knows … and that he’s been there. “He will do to ride the river with.” John is cautioning that the most critical feature in any defensive fighting pistol is functional reliability. What he is saying is that there are other cartridges, especially for the 1911 platform, that function more reliably. I have loved, owned, and carried 1911’s for 60+ years. They can be wonderful in many calibers, but function most reliably in 45 ACP, 9 mm Luger, and 357 SIG. Some cartridges (ie: 9mm Luger, 357 SIG,… Read more »

Jack A Furbush

I’ve carried a S&W 1006 as a cop for the past 18 years. Never had problem 1 with it. Mine will feed it’s own or a new unfired case. It don’t get any better. I wish the Glock 20 had been around back in my LAPD days. Nothing wrong with the S&W M10 I had to carry. But would have preferred The Glock over the Beretta 92 or Colt 1911A1 for SWAT work. Being on the long rifle I never had to use a handgun, but did 3 times as a patrolman. Had to carry the 1911A1 in the Marine… Read more »

Stephen Culbertson

One man’s seriously under informed opinion. There are some 10mm that function great and I own 2 – Sig P220 SAO and Glock – no problems at all and I would trust my life with either even up to Grizzlies. Yeah, my edc’s are usually 9mm or 45acp but mostly because of weight.


10mm, to be or not to be? The FBI used it in glocks. 40 cal lacks the punch. I use .45acp I just dont use federal ammo as it short cycles. I handload my kimbers and ruger sr 1911 and a thousand to 1500 rounds a year without isues. I have buddy’s that take their 10mm thru tactical courses without failures. The issue really is more of peoples cleaning habbits. Fkn 50 and .308 LMG fail to feed all the time if enough rounds heat em up. Nothing wrong with the wifes CC Springfield in 10mm either. Guess they just… Read more »

Harry in Ohio

I carry my Glock 10mm with hot Underwood ammunition when in northern Montana for grizzlies. I practice with it using the same loads. After years of shooting, I have NEVER had a feeding problem. I use heavier springs and an aftermarket 6 inch barrel with a compensator on it. I agree with those that say the person might be a little hesitant of recoil and not hanging on tight thinking that will some how make the felt recoil be less.

Charles Millo

10 mm hate

Robert Byczek

I shot Delta Elite with a comp, trigger job, red dot in IPSC/USPA in competition and never had a burp or glitch. Also have an EAA and a 6 inch Glock, love them all. As with any, ya gotta give them a good platform or they will fail to feed…


I’ve got a Tanfolgio and a Dan Wesson and the only feeding problems either has ever given me have been Magazine spring related or limp wrist related. With over 5000 rounds through the Tanfolgio and over 500 through the Dan Wesson I think that’s a pretty good track record. The 10mm is a powerful cartridge and you can’t forget that the shooter has to do his job by holding the things still while it’s Cycles, definitely not a cartridge for the limp-wristed or inexperienced shooter.


If my only experience with 1911s in .45 ACP was my Colt Government Model .45, I could say the same thing about the .45 ACP cartridge; that turkey of a gun hardly ever made it through a magazine of hardball without malfunctioning, usually several times. And repeated trips to Colt’s laughable “warranty” service didn’t change things. It did, however, make me swear off Colt firearms. (For the warranty NONservice, not the bad pistol. Other problem guns I’ve had actually WERE addressed by the manufacturers.)

Jack A Furbush

It’s unfortunate that Colt today isn’t the same as the Colt of even 25 years ago. It’s obvious that you’re gun never should have left the factory that way. The frame or slide or both where our of tolerance. CNC milling machines are great with a trained operator. Unfortunately these are far and few between. I worked at Sig Arms as a security Officer for a couple of years 6 years ago and saw first hand what a bunch of monkeys they had on 2nd shift and 3rd shift production. I can’t speak to 1st shift, never worked one. The… Read more »


Just as an FYI – the Colt 1911 .45 ACP Jammamatic incident I mentioned was over 25 years ago. If the Colt of today isn’t even up to the Colt of back then – when they couldn’t/wouldn’t honor their warranty and return a FUNCTIONAL gun to me – it’s a wonder they’re not gone altogether. (BTW, unlike that Colt Jammamatic, my Les Baer .45 and my E-series S&W 1911Sc work flawlessly.) Any manufacturer can put out a pistol that isn’t right – the good manufacturers will fix it, or, failing that, replace it. COLT DID NOT, despite repeated chances.

John McCain

What a Maroon as bugs bunny would say. The 10mm is one of the most versatile cartridges, I personally have put thousands of rounds down range and have yet to have any real issues with it. I think most shooters would disagree with your article.

Tom P

My EAA Witness Tangfolio 10mm runs flawlessly with all types of ammo if have fed it. Never a problem. It has a double stack mag, and have shot over 600 rounds through it without a hitch. Cleaned it at 300 rounds. I also own a Rock Island Armory 1912 in 10mm, with an 8 round mag. Five inch barrel. I also have never had a problem firing various types of ammo through it. I have about 400 rounds through it now. So I am not sure if the student got a lemon, or just what happened. My experience with 10mm… Read more »


How many fighting pistol type training classes have you run those 10mm’s through? Or have all those rounds been from a static firing line? Thx!!


I want the Hi Point 10 MM


I love my 10 mm Ruger revolvers ……

Jack A Furbush

Most of the pistols that won’t run with the 10mm and 40 S&W are either design or Q.C. issue. Originally gun makers just put heavier recoil, hammer springs and new magazine, new barrel.That didn’t work. Guns built around the new rounds normally run just fine. As of today I’ve got the S&W, Colt, Glock, and Sig 10mm pistols. They all run just fine with both factory and my reload training round. I seriously doubt that my pistols are the rare exception


Terribly uninformed article. Bah

Michael T.

You are exactly right…. My Glock 20 10 mil. has Never let me down….Every deer and black bear has been DRT.

Dave Satterthwaite

So the full power 10mm is equal to the 41 mag. You could be slightly off on the not for hunting thing.

David Barneko

Wrong 10mm has more powder look at the ballistics for the 10 in the 40 caliber


It is not equal to the 41 magnum, that’s a myth that needs to die. At its best, it’s equal in energy to a good 357 Magnum. You can’t compare the hottest 10mm to the weakest 41 Mag and say they are equals…

Jack A Furbush

The 10mm is more like a .357 mag in an 8 to 15 round pistol. The ballistic performance of the .41 mag my look good on paper, shooting the 2 side by side it ain’t so. The 210 gr jhp has more ass then the 180 hot 10mm


Anecdotal evidence with a data pool of one firearm? This is why I quit reading gun articles. More groupthink based on anecdotes. We don’t need that. We need real data. Inrangetv FTW.


My double stack Rock Island 10 MM has yet to fail. The FBI was responsible for the commercial development of the 10 .it was shortened to 40 Sw because smaller agents couldn’t cope with the recoil. I’LL be keeping my 10.


I’ve owned 7 1911s in 10mm and a S&W 1006 and the only one that wasn’t reliable was a Kimber. But I fixed it. My only problem was that after a few match stages I was just beat. So, I eventually switched to 9mm because I couldn’t take the beating. I still believe the 10mm is an awesome cartridge. But, it should have a rim and be chambered in good revolvers.

Jack A Furbush

In a revolver you can just as well use a .357 mag and call it even. Plenty of them floating around and not as expensive

Jack A Furbush

I’ve had both a Colt Delta Elite Stainless Steel & S&W 1006 sence 1990. Both run 100% with both factory and my training loads. I’ve had a Gen 3 Glock for the past 11 years, it’s got twice the round count of the Smith and makes a great winter carry piece. It’s not that much bigger than my Glock 22, and packs more punch than most practical carry loads. The Glock is like carrying a 15 round .357 mag, nothing wrong with that. In spite of all the flap in print about defence ammo it dosent make any difference what… Read more »